Withings GO activity tracker teardown

For this first edition of the hardware teardown, we’re dissecting technology and lifestyle brand Withings’ cheapest activity and sleep tracker: the Withings GO.   Since they launched their first connected weighing scale back in 2010 (the WiFi Body Scale), I’ve been a big fan of Withings. They make beautiful products that integrate seamlessly with their online platform and that seem to have a very decent lifespan: that scale I bought in 2010 still works just fine (although I recently upgraded to the new Body Cardio to get some of the new features).

Withings GO activity tracker teardown

In this post, we’ll be treating their small activity tracker less kindly: we open up the casing, look at all of the main components and what they do, and try to recreate the BOM (Bill Of Material) and COGS (Cost of Goods Sold) to determine the actual cost of this tracker retailing for €69,99.

The first step: unboxing!

When you open the box, there are 4 items in it. First off, the tracker itself, with an e-ink display in a round plastic casing. Then a wristband, to wear the GO as a watch, and a clip to attach it to your pant pocket or belt. Finally, the packaging includes a small plastic coin with which you can open the back of the tracker to replace the battery.

Next up: Opening the tracker

I used only basic tools to take this tracker apart: a cutting knife, tweezers, and a USB microscope.

First, we removed the battery. This is easy: you can simply open the back of the casing with the included tool or with a regular coin. The included battery turned out to be a Panasonic 3V CR2032 with a capacity of 225mAh. In other words, it could power a device consuming 225mA for one hour. According to the Withings GO product website, the battery can last up to 8 months, so simple math tells us that the tracker consumes only 43.4 microamps. With real life usage, that number will probably turn out a little higher, but even then it’s a very low-power device.

Removing the battery also exposed a seal ring used to make the enclosure waterproof – necessary, as the Withings GO tracker is advertised as being able to detect when you are swimming.

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